Oops: Scientists sequence DNA and find Hitler mistakenly married a Jew hours before he died

By David Edwards
Monday, April 7, 2014 11:18 EDT
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Adolf Hitler (Channel 4/screen grab)
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A British documentary that will air on Wednesday night claims to have DNA evidence that suggests Adolf Hitler unknowingly married a Jewish woman as one of his final acts before his death.

According to experts, strong circumstantial evidence suggests that a hair sample provided to the Channel 4 show Dead Famous DNA by relatives of a U.S. Army officer probably belong to Hitler’s wife, Eva Braun. The hair was found on a brush inside a cosmetics case with the initials E.B. that was taken from Braun’s apartment.

However, Channel 4 was not able to obtain a DNA sample from Braun’s living relative to authenticate the sample.

By sequencing the hypervariable region of the mitochondrial DNA, scientist found a genome within the mitochondria of the cell that is associated with Ashkenazi Jews. The cell is passed down from mother to daughter over generations.

Hitler was said to have done a background check of Braun to be sure she had no Jewish ancestry. But Channel 4′s experts speculated that not even Braun would have been aware of her Jewish connection.

“In the nineteenth century, many Ashkenazi Jews in Germany converted to Catholicism, so Eva Braun is highly unlikely to have known her ancestry and – despite research he instigated into Braun’s race – neither would Hitler,” a network spokesperson said.

Hitler and Braun were married on April 29, 1945, just one day before they both committed suicide. A day after their death, Berlin surrendered.

“This is a thought-provoking outcome – I never dreamt that I would find such a potentially extraordinary and profound result,” Channel 4 host Mark Evans observed. “Racism & Fascism – ideas that one racial group is superior to another – made a mockery of by studying dead famous DNA.”

Watch the video below from Channel 4.

(h/t: Newser)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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